Full title: Heretical Fishing: A Cozy Guide to Annoying the Cults, Outsmarting the Fish, and Alienating Oneself 
Author: Haylock Jobson 
Publisher: Podium Publishing 

The first book in the Heretical Fishing series, Haylock¬†Jobson’s debut novel is a treat for fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and literature-based role-playing games (RPGs). Set in a universe where the gods have jumped ship and left everyone to fend for themselves, most people are driven by the potential to gain unbelievable levels of power that have been left vacant. But, not the hero of this tale. Oh no – he would rather go fishing!¬†Humorously named Fischer, the protagonist is swept into a world of magical powers, and cosmic forces, all held up by an intrinsically broken ruling system.

With his energy blade-armed pet crab sidekick, Fischer has to navigate the pressures and persuasion of noble rulers and cults as he tries to create a life that is wholly less stressful and carve out some time to check in with nature. This makes for a cozy, charming read, whilst highlighting the stressors of modern society when all you want to do is grab your trusty rod and get onto the water. Jobson gets the pacing and tone of the novel just right, with descriptions detailed enough to create this whole new world, and just enough mystery to keep you hanging on. 

Of course, the main theme of this novel is fishing. But, you don’t have to be a fishing enthusiast to enjoy the book¬†(we all remember the Bojack Horseman ‘Fish Out of Water’ episode, right?).¬†

Fishing and underwater worlds have become a popular theme of all kinds of entertainment, with TV shows like Bojack, films, and even online casino games. Slot game enthusiasts in Ireland can reel in a jackpot on Big Bass Bonanza which is just one game of the Big Bass franchise, using icons like fish, fishermen, rods, and bait to create an authentic and immersive fishing-themed casino experience.

What these things have in common is that the breadth of iconography and characterizations help to build an interactive world – and Heretical Fishing is no different. Throughout the novel, we are introduced to a wide range of talking aquatic or adjacent characters, who have an almost cartoon-like humor. Our particular favorites include Corporal Claws, Private Pistachio, and Rocky. This allows us to see the world from the sealife’s perspective, giving us a break from Fischer’s POV.¬†

About the Author 

Haylock Jobson is an author based in the Gold Coast of Australia, supposedly spending his days writing, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and petting cute dogs. He jokes that as his mother named him Paige, he was forced to go by his (rather cool, might we say) middle name instead. Whilst Heretical Fishing might be his first novel, he is no stranger to the online community Рhe has posted to Royal Road since 2022, notably self-releasing previous works The Aggressive Ascension, another lit-RPG progression fantasy. 

Heretical Fishing is available in most places you’d usually get your books. If you needed any more prompting to get started on the novel, the second installment of the Heretical Fishing series, was released on July 9th 2024.

About The Author

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